That was the moment that the impossible occurred. In the middle of the day, under blazing blue-white sun in the middle of the desert of Hinnemon, it began to snow.
People screamed almost more in fright over that than the warring monsters at their gate. The FireDrakes were high in the sky, casting a tiny blot of shadow over Lainz and in that shadow, snow fell. It melted almost instantly but refroze and fell again until the whole mass of Mom and monster, Alissa and Amardad was covered with a blanket of white that wasn’t sand.
That was when Alissa began screaming. “No! Don’t freeze me out of code! No! No! I’ll be good, I swear I promise I will I will! I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry!”
“You swear. Swear to obey me as long as you are a guest of Lainz. By your bones, Siwion or I will fill them full of ice instead of marrow so that they may never be animated again.”
“I swear! I swear by the life in my bones!”
“I accept your oath.” Amardad’s voice was like a sword made out of frozen air.
The FireDrakes above unlocked from their pattern, letting the sun shine through again and the snow whiffed away into steam. Amardad straightened and released Alissa who stood, still shivering. There was a white pattern on the teacher’s outside veil that looked as though acid had eaten the colour away in the shape of a knife. She turned to where Ilax and Kyrus still stood firm between the city and the mess.
“With Your permission, Radiance, I would like to welcome my new student to the city of Lainz. She is under oath to me. I will hold myself responsible for her behaviour while in the city. On my life.”
Ky had pulled up, over his fathers, waiting for orders. Now was not the time to grandstand and throw a Scarlet into a field of Pitters.
“Your student is welcome, High Teacher. You have pledged your life against her good behaviour and your control of her coding.”
Amardad nodded and a dozen of her students, all in their school veiling, came running out to begin clearing and fixing the damage that Alissa’s tantrum had done.
The little girl looked around as if stunned, stepped over the line of the gate’s shadow, slowly. Carefully. Her bone horse limped after her, the ringing of its bones discordant now, full of cacophony. She didn’t look back at it, but flinched at every wrong clank or clatter.
“You will tend your beloved after you have rested properly,” Amardad said quietly, walking beside her. “Flat in a bed, not tied to your racer, and after you’ve eaten.”
“Yuck. I don’t like food. Food is fuel….” She flinched then, face sullen.
“That is an unfortunate opinion, Siwion Alissa,” was Amardad’s quiet response.